Vito Prosciutto: Teaching community college math on the road to a PhD.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

A bit more work today 

I spent a surprising amount of time on campus today given that my primary objectives were to arrange the desks (if necessary) and put some meagre decorations in the room to put a bit of my own personality in the room. I ended up staying until almost 3. I did get my class rosters (at least one of which is incorrect) and discovered that the evaluation version of Easy Grade Pro wouldn't let me do my seating charts so I've since bought a downloadable copy so I can get to work with that sort of thing. Students are seated in groups of 3 which will be heterogeneous Each group is arranged with two students seated facing each other and about 90o from the main board. I set up the basic arrangement so that while students are largely arranged alphabetically, I've dispersed them so that the first student alphabetically gets to sit in group 1, the next in group 2, etc. When I was in high school, it seemed like every class had alphabetical seating so I was always stuck between Priscilla Porcino and Archibald Quigley. I expect a bit of the same.

One thing I did notice is that the classes are quite clearly mixed levels. I have about half of my students for geometry in 9th grade (a surprising percentage, I thought), but each class also includes a handful of 11th and 12th graders. I'm busily typing names into EGP and keeping an eye open for duplicated names. So far I've found one class with three Alejandras. I also think that I've got a pair of twins (although in different classes).

The school uses a convenient coding system for duplicated names: They append + to duplicated names so that in records there will be Maria+ Lopez, Maria++ Lopez, Maria+++ Lopez, etc. They also put * after the last names of some students. No one in the office could explain any of this to me. I figured out the +'s by spotting two students with similar names and different number of +'s, but the *s area a mystery. Whatever they mean, I won't put two in the same group at the beginning of the school year.

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